For LeBron James, all that remains are the margins.
He has improved in so many areas over the past few seasons that it is a struggle to identify the next frontier.
After Friday’s Heat practice, he pointed to his free throw shooting.
“I need to, and want to, shoot in the 80s,” said James, who again settled in the mid-70 percent range this season.
That work will go on.
For now, he’ll need to settle for something else: winning 80 percent of the last five MVP awards.
As first reported by ESPN on Friday, and as widely expected since February, James will take home that trophy again.
He won his first two MVP awards in 2009 and ‘10 with Cleveland and his third last season with the Heat. Derrick Rose of Chicago broke James’ streak by winning in 2011.
The Heat are expected to host a ceremony for James on Sunday, the day before the second round of the playoffs begins.
James is in position to be the first unanimous winner of the award; Shaquille O’Neal received all but one vote in 2000 when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Michael Jordan, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain are the only other players with at least four MVP awards.
James this season averaged averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals and almost one block per game.
His statistics in many categories were roughly the same as those he posted a year ago, so this season will be remembered for his surge in shooting efficiency.
He improved his field-goal percentage for the sixth straight season, and by more than ever before, from 53.1 to 56.5, in a manner that captivated his coach.
“Not letting teams off the hook,” Erik Spoelstra said. “Absolutely taking shots that he knows he can make. Eliminating the throwaway shots.
“Because of his IQ and his dedication, he’s learning how to read games and read opponents better and better each game. He knows the game to the level of an assistant coach. That improvement from the shoulders up — his improvement can continue to be limitless.”
James is just 28, so he has time to catch and pass Abdul-Jabbar (six MVPs) and Jordan and Russell (five).
“What he does is miraculous every night,” teammate Ray Allen said. “Well-deserved.”
It may take a miracle to take the MVP from him.
“The only thing I can liken it to in my lifetime is Jordan, his amazing run,” teammate Shane Battier said. “He probably could have won a few more MVPs.
“And I think LeBron is sort of in a similar light. I think the next one he loses will be because people got tired of voting for him.”
They aren’t yawning yet.